Saturday, 22 September 2012

September Glossybox

 Clockwise from left: Lady Gaga Fame Fragrance, Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum and 5 Minute Facial, Vichy Idealia Day Care Cream, Maghrabian Hair Oil, Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream

So my September Glossybox has finally arrived! It feels like ages since I received Augusts' one (which I admit I was slightly let down by and hence didn't review) but this month has perked me up again! It is also a special edition box designed by Maggie Li, and look how adorable it is!
Although there are no full size products in this months box, there is a generous selection of items which I have been trying out and really enjoying.  The Lady Gaga 'Fame' fragrance is quite interesting. I had read about it and the fact that it was a black liquid which sprays clear was something which I found really intriguing.  The scent is quite nice, I don't love it, and hence won't be buying the full size version, but it is pleasant, and quite florally (is that even a word!)  I actually like being sent small perfume samples like this as they are so easy to just keep in your bag whenever you fancy a quick spritz.  I have so many rolling around right now in my handbag, and it just makes it so much easier than taking a whole bottle out with you.
The Maghrabian hair oil is quite nice too. It's very delicately scented, and although the oil comes out the bottle quite thick, it goes onto the hair without a trace of residue, and helps reduce the appearance of dryness.  I've tried a lot of hair oils and this one really does feel high quality.  I'm not sure whether I'd splash out £13 for the 50ml bottle, but I'll see how I feel once I've used it a few times!
But now onto the three products which I really like from this months box.

The Vichy Idealia Day Cream is really lovely.  It's got a delicate fragrance, and the consistency is quite thick, something which I really like, especially as the weather is getting cooler I like to wear a moisturiser with a bit more thickness to it.  It claims to smooth and illuminate the skin.  The smoothing part I agree with, it makes my complexion appear slightly more even, and almost acts as a primer, making my foundation look even and preventing it from sinking into my pores.  The illuminating part, I'm not so sure, but I'm not disappointed. To be honest I've tried a few 'illuminating' products and they've never really made much difference to my skin.  I only wish this contained an SPF, as that really is a key selling point to me when buying a moisturiser!

Now I'm not the sort of individual who tries to always use 'natural' products, however I am becoming more and more aware of what I am using on my skin.  The Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream is an example of such natural products, and it claims to sooth tired eyes, smooth away dark shadows and reduce the appearance of fine lines.  I mentioned in my previous post that I am noticing fine lines beginning to appear around my eyes, so any product which claims to reduce them is always good for me!  This product really is lovely on the skin.  It's a cream, but when applied it almost feels gel-like, cooling and sinking into the skin with no trace or residue.  It also does reduce the fine lines around my eyes - in fact they virtually disappear when I apply this! 

I've heard of both these Rodial products before, but never thought to try them due to the price tag.  However I was pleased to receive two samples of both the 5 minute facial and the Glamoxy snake serum.  The 5 minute facial is a triple action resurfacing gommage clay mask, which is soothing on the skin and made my skin feel super soft after using it.  I used to use masks all the time, but stopped recently for some reason. Using this product has given me a new incentive to try out face masks again. I particularly love clay based masks as I find them to be most gentle on my slightly sensitive skin.
The snake serum is also impressive.  It applies smoothly and sinks into the skin without a trace. Having been getting into using facial serums recently, I am always happy to receive samples to try, as there are just so many options available on the market that it can be difficult to know which one to go for.  However, the price tag of £29 for just 10ml of product is something which puts me off slightly. I need to get a better job!

Have you received your Glossybox? What do you think about the products?

S x

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Sen Eyes and Lips Moisturising Gel

I have begun to take a bigger interest in products which assist in improving the skin from signs of ageing.  Now I'm not into intense anti-wrinkle products just yet, but I am keen to take on the mantra of 'prevention is the best cure' when it comes to keeping my skin looking young.  Lately I have noticed that I have been starting to develop a few fine lines around my eye area, which isn't a huge deal, but it does make my concealer sit in them slightly which ends up making them more noticeable! 

I discovered the Sen Eyes and Lips 24-hour Eye Contour Moisturising Gel (what a mouthful!) during my hunt in TK Maxx a few weeks ago, so I decided to give it a try.  I was sold by the expensive looking packaging, the generous size and the price (£5.99, with an RRP of £21.99).  Having used this product for a few weeks now, I really really like it.  The gel is super light and soft, and sinks into the skin quickly without leaving a tacky feeling which I have experienced with other eye gels in the past.  The fact that it does sink in so quickly means I can apply my concealer virtually immediately and it doesn't settle on top of the product.

The gel has also certainly improved the fine lines around my eyes.  I think the primary reason for the development of the lines around this area is lack of proper moisturisation, both in terms of products and myself (I really don't drink as much water as I should!).  However  I am noticing a real difference after using this product.  

I believe the actual Sen stores have now closed in this country, however there are numerous outlets online where you can get hold of their products. Having been so impressed with this one, I am eager to try more! 

S x

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Essie 'Smooth Trick' Cuticle Oil

I have been absolutely loving this Smooth Trick cuticle oil by Essie lately.  I've been somewhat neglecting my nails recently, I don't know why but I just have been to lazy to maintain them and keep them looking nice and strong.  I have naturally brittle nails anyway so trying to get them looking in tip top condition is always a challenge for me.

However after getting fed up of them looking dull and generally rubbish, I decided to get back on it with nail care.  First stop, cuticles! My cuticles have been super dry and rough lately, splitting quite a lot which is really quite sore. So I set out on a mission to find a great cuticle oil to help repair and restore them.  I came across this little beauty in TK Maxx for a steal at just £3.99, and I am loving it.  The packaging is gorgeous, and what I love most is the applicator tip.  It is a soft, transparent 'pointer' which allows you to apply the product cleanly and evenly around the cuticles. It is also ever so delicately scented, which I love. The fact the product comes in such a handy tube makes it ideal for applying on the go mess-free, so it's perfect for when your cuticles are feeling in a little need of some attention.

I have been using this for about a week now, and already the condition of my cuticles has improved dramatically.  I have never really looked at the beauty section of TK Maxx before, but after finding this little gem (and a few other bargains which I shall review soon) I will most definately be going back for more!

Have you tried any cuticle oils? What are your favourites?

S x

Friday, 7 September 2012

Sanctuary Pore Refining Toner

Recently I have re-ignited my search for the ultimate pore-reducing product. I have very large pores either side of my nose and on my forehead, which have been the bane of my life for years now! I know that they are mainly due to genetics, so I'm aware I'm never going to be one of those lucky souls who has perfectly flawless and poreless skin. However I am keen to try and reduce the size of them and try out products to see which (if any) work in doing so.

I came across the Sanctuary Pore Refining Toner in Boots a few weeks ago, and decided to give it a go. At first I was about to purchase the full size bottle which retails for around £8, when I spotted this smaller version for around £2.40 and decided it would be the more sensible option; if it doesn't work, then I wouldn't of wasted too much money!

I apply this product using a cotton wool pad after cleansing. It smells really gorgeous and unlike products similar to this which claim to reduce pore size, it doesn't sting my skin at all.  However, when it comes down to it, does it really make my pores smaller? Well, yes, it does. Albeit temporarily.  I certainly reduces the size, making my skin feel really soft and I like the fact that it allows my make-up to appear more even when applied.  At this stage, I am not sure for definite if I will re-purchase this, but I think I might, if nothing better comes along!

Have you tried any pore minimising products? What worked for you?

S x

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Sleek Blemish Balm

With the seemingly huge amount of BB creams that have hit the market over the last year, I for one have found it something of a challenge to find one that I felt would work for me.  I have sampled different brands here and there, but have just never been tempted to buy one.  I'm quite difficult to please when it comes to foundations, as once I have found one which works for me, I don't tend to switch to anything else.  However when I read about Sleek's offering to the BB cream world, I was really keen to try it.  The main reason was due to it claiming to be a 'full coverage' blemish balm - I have quite uneven skin and so coverage is a very important element for me when considering a new foundation. 

The first thing I love about Sleek's BB Cream is the packaging. I love it's simple, 'sleek' (ha ha) look and the size of the tube - you get 50mls of product which I feel is very generous.  The consistency of the balm is very thick, as you can see from the images below, I have a very small amount on the back of my hand and you can see how far this spreads.

I have oily/combination skin, and I find this does sit really nicely on my skin.  The coverage is good, akin to my Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation, so I would class one layer as medium coverage. For me personally, to achieve full coverage requires two layers, however I found on me it looked a little 'cakey.' It leaves a slightly dewy finish, and I found I didn't need to powder straight away, however after about 4 hours I looked a little shiny, but nothing terrible and nothing a little powder can't sort.

The only downside I have to give for this product is the colour.  Their are four options, Fair, Light, Medium and Dark. I opted for Light, which has actually turned out to be too dark for me. It is ok when I have just fake tanned my face, the match is pretty good.  However I wouldn't be able to wear this without having pre-tanned my face first, unless I mix it with a light foundation.  I also find that the colour of the product when wet (as soon as it comes out of the tube) and the colour once it is on my face and 'dry' is dramatically different; it goes much darker once it is applied to the face.

Overall, I really like this BB cream. I think I am going to purchase the 'Fair' shade as now Autumn is drawing nearer, I don't tend to go as deep with my tan.  However for £8.99, I feel the price is very reasonable, especially for the amount of product you get :)

S x

Friday, 31 August 2012

Japonesque Heated Eyelash Curlers

Heated Eyelash Curlers - £12.50 

I purchased these Japonesque Heated Eyelash Curlers a few weeks back from the John Lewis website, having read various positive reviews about them online.

When the product arrived, the battery which was supplied with the curlers didn't work, so straight away, not a great start! The only battery which worked in them at the time was one from my T.V remote and to be honest, I couldn't be bothered to faff about switching batteries around in order to use these curlers.
However I have recently put a new battery in them and have been reusing them, to try and get the most out of it. In all honesty, I am a little disappointed with this product. For me, it doesn't curl my lashes at all, though it does do a good job of separating and lifting the lashes, which in turn does make my mascara look a little better, but nothing outstanding.

If you are expecting curl, then stick to the traditional eyelash curlers, as this really doesn't create the longed for curl at all. However if you are looking for lift and separation, this does do a good job. 

Have you tried any heated eyelash curlers before? What were your experiences?

S x

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Mellow Yellow

I just had to share a snap of my nail polish which I have been loving recently.  It is the Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail polish in Mellow Yellow, and it is just the perfect pastel yellow shade. It really makes me feel happy when I have it on, and I have received so many compliments about it! The mini bottle is just too cute and easy to store, and at £2.99 they are really affordable.  I find to get a really solid opaque finish requires three coats, but the polish dries super quickly, so it really isn't time consuming :) 

I'm definately going to get my hands on some more mini's!

S x

This weeks wish list

September is an expensive month for me, being several family members birthdays, so unfortunately I am having to be a bit careful with my spending (it's so difficult!) The plus side is, it is also my birthday too, so I have compiled a little rundown of the items I am really keen to get my hands on soon :)

1) Daniel Sandler Watercolour Creme Bronzer

I have been lusting after this product ever since seeing the gorgeous Sam Chapman post a bronzing tutorial on Pixiwoo. I have to have it! And it's currently only £12.50 on Feel Unique...surely I can treat myself for that price! :)

2) MUA Heaven and Earth Palette

I've seen this product across the blogosphere being raved about. I have a few MUA blushes which I have always been impressed with, and am desparate to get my hands on this palette. I only really wear neutral, earthy colours on my eyes and this collection looks perfect. However it isn't stocked in my local Superdrug! *sigh*

3) Topshop Lip Marker in Berry

I must admit, I do love the Autumn months, and as I feel them creeping closer, I like to go darker with my lip colour. I'm a huge fan of lip tints, and am on the hunt for a dark one to take me through the changing seasons. This Topshop one looks like a great shade.

4) Alpha-H Liquid Gold

Again this is another product I have read about online.  I have always been good with skincare, however lately I am just not happy with the way my skin is looking, and am keen to try out something new to see if it makes a difference.  My skin at the moment is very uneven, almost patchy looking. Liquid Gold is a lotion based chemical exfoliant which claims to even out skin tone and tighten pores - and since my pores are literally the size of dinner plates at the moment, I'm really eager to give this a try!

5) Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask

I love my Moroccan Oil, and lets face it, it's a huge winner in the blog world and everyone and their nan is raving about it! However I am really keen to try out the hydrating mask.  My hair is beginning to feel really quite dry on the ends lately (it definately needs a cut, but I'm too lazy to go!) and I really do enjoy the luxury of a hair mask. Definately on my to try list!

6) Talika Eyebrow Extender

Probably the product I am eager to try the most. I came across this product whilst browsing Feel Unique, and I am desparate to try it out. It is a gel which contains tiny little hair-like fibres, which claim to enhance and extend the length of your eyebrows.  Certainly a product I have never come across before, and would love to give it a go.

Are there any particular items you are lusting for at the moment?

S x

Saturday, 25 August 2012

A new skincare routine...

It has been ages since my last post, due to a combination of having a broken laptop and working 6 day weeks, which well and truly ran me to the ground! Thankfully my hours have dropped to a 4 day week so I now have time to catch up on important things and just generally give me a chance to sort my life out!

I recently decided to try a new exfoliator within my skincare regime, as I was getting a bit bored, as I do. I absolutely love my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, but for some reason, despite a product being amazing, I am always tempted to try out something different! When having a browse around Boots the other week, I noticed that the Botanics range had quite large reductions on all of their products, and so I had a look to see if there was anything that took my fancy.  I ended up walking away with two items, a 'superbalm', which I shall review separately, and the Microdermabrasion Polish. Part of their 'Radiant Skin' range, it is definately a product targeted at those interested in anti-aging, which even though I am beginning to feel a bit old, I know that at 22 I'm not necessarily their target market right now!  However when I read the back of the product, I knew that this would be something I just had to try.

It's very thick and the grains (not sure if that is the right word!) are very fine, which is a combination I love, as I feel it is doing a really deep exfoliation of my skin without feeling too rough.  This product has definately helped to refine my pores, as well as keeping my skin feeling super soft. And it's super value for money, as you only need to use a very small amount and the tube is a very generous 120ml.

The second addition to my skincare regime is the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, which I received in my August Glossybox.  I have always wanted to try out a facial oil, but just never knew which one to go for. And in al honestly, the ones I have looked into have always been a bit pricey, and I never want to risk wasting money on something that dosn't work for me (times are hard at the moment!)  Hence why I was delighted to receive this sample size in my box.  Applied to dry skin, I really feel it melting away my make up, and being an oil it feels incredibly moisturising too.  Just one application leaves my skin feel clean and soft, though I do find I have to use it twice around my eyes if I have been wearing heavy mascara or eyeshadow, just to ensure everything is off.  And very much like the Botanics Microdermabrasion Polish, a little goes a long way, which I always find to be important in a product that is used daily.  Thankyou Glossybox for introducing me to another gem! Lets keep them coming :)

S x

Friday, 27 July 2012

July Glossybox

Clockwise from top left: Elizabeth Arden Skin Balancing Skincare sample sachets, Monuspa Golden Glow Face and Body Bronzer, Clynol Colour & Care Shampoo, Elizabeth Arden Skin Balancing Lotion, Jelly Pong Pong Irish Cream Pavlova Lip Frosting, HD Brows Eyebrow Palette in Vamp

I have been subscribing to the Glossybox for around a year now, maybe a little less.  At first, I loved getting my box in the post, excited to see all the little treats ready for me to try out.  But to be honest, I did begin to get a little disappointed in the last few months, particularly as I would always seem to get some form of body wash which I don't really find particularly exciting.  I would also be a bit gutted when I would check out other Glossybox reviews on my favourite beauty blogs to see that they received an item better than what I had! Bad times!

However this has been turned around with the July Glossybox that I received the other day. I'm absolutely chuffed with it, and am really impressed with the products I have received.  The Monuspa Golden Glow Face and Body Bronzer is one product I am eager to try, now that my holiday tan is beginning to fade (sigh!)  plus it smells delicious. The Jelly Pong Pong lip frosting also smells yummy, and is super moisturising on the lips. I'm not overly sure on the frosted finish, but that's purely down to me not really being a fan of frosted finishes on the lips.  I'm eager to try the Elizabeth Arden Skin Balancing products, as I am always keen to test new skincare products on my face to see whether they have any benefits on my quite often stubborn skin!

Yet the product that got me most excited was the full size HD Brows Eyebrow Palette in Vamp.

I am so happy to have received this product, because I was literally *this* close to purchasing it! It was waiting patiently in my basket, and all I was doing was holding out until payday (today) to make the purchase. But for once luck was on my side, and there it appeared, in all it's glory, in my Glossybox on Wednesday! I'm super excited to try it out, and will post up a full review once I've given it a go. Looks like Glossybox have won me back over again!


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Avène redness-relief moisturising protecting emulsion

Despite its rather long-winded name, Avène redness-relief moisturising protecting emulsion has quickly become my favourite moisturiser, after literally years and years of trying out all sorts.  I love it so much that I am now onto my third bottle, and I don't see myself trying out a different moisturiser in the near future!

The consistency is quite thick, yet doesn't sit heavily on the skin at all. In fact it sinks in extremely quickly, leaving my skin feeling soft and supple, and not overly shiny (not a good look!) My foundation also glides on super easily, and I find I'm not reaching out for a primer in such a long time, which is good as my skin can go a little hectic if I overload it with too many products.

It also has a really subtle, fresh scent, and with an SPF of 20, it helps protect the skin too. It's primary claim is redness relief, which I believe it does. My skin doesn't react so quickly to normal factors which cause redness, though I don't suffer from huge amounts of redness apart from when I cleanse my skin, and sometimes in the mornings.  My main reason for loving this moisturiser is for it's enriching consistency whilst not blocking my pores. I have found in the past that my skin is quite often dehydrated, yet the products targeted at dry skin would sometimes be too rich and cause me to break out.

I think paid around £12 for this product, so it isn't overly expensive, and I find a little goes a long way. I definitely wouldn't be without it now!

S x 

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Simply Pure Aqua Hydrating Serum

I had been keen to try a facial serum for some time as a contrast from my usual moisturiser.  My skin is totally chaotic, it's dry at times, oily at other times, prone to redness and the occasional spot, and it is also super sensitive.  Being a total novice when it comes to serums I honestly didn't have a clue which one to go for, and I felt a lot of serums available on the market were a little expensive. And to be honest, I didn't really fancy forking out much for something which I wasn't sure would work for me (I'm totally broke at the moment!)

However when picking up some essentials from Superdrug a few months ago, I was drawn to their Simply Pure range, and noticed that they offered several facial serums at a really affordable price. So I thought why not? And I am so glad I did. I'm currently on my second bottle and I totally love this product. It is moisturising whilst being incredibly light on the skin. It also absorbs really quickly and makes a great base for make-up.

The only downside about this product is its lack of SPF. As a result I usually wear it overnight, which really gives it chance to work into my skin (I also tend to go a bit OTT at night and slather loads on, but it does the job!), unless I'm opting to wear a foundation with SPF. It is also fragrance free, which isn't something I normally like (I'm a total sucker for sweet scents!) however it really isn't an issue, and since it is such a great product I can't complain.

For £4.49, it is also a steal.  I will definitely be picking up another when this one runs out!

S x